Corona: This is how the virus affected the use of the Internet by Israelis

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The Israeli Internet Association published a survey today (Wednesday), which shows that Social distance, work from home and the fear of being infected in the public sphere have significantly increased Israelis’ use of the Internet, Not just in terms of content consumption like news or entertainment. The data show that there has been a significant increase in the days of the corona in various services such as payments and online shopping, shortening queues, use of digital banking services and filling out online forms. The survey also shows that the gaps in the use of online services between the Hebrew company and the Hebrew company have narrowed recently, but remain significant.

As mentioned before the outbreak of the corona epidemic, 89% of all Internet users in Israel made payments and shortened queues online, compared to 66% in a similar survey conducted by the union in 2017. 85% of all Internet users in Israel indicated that they shop on Israeli and international sites. 2017.

The data also show that there was a high increase in filling out forms on government websites: 21% of all Internet users have recently started filling out forms on government websites such as the Social Security, the Tax Authority and the income tax. This is a significant increase, as before the Corona period only 54% of the public used government forms. However, among Arab society the figure stands at only 40% even after a recent 18% increase.

High discrepancies were found in the level of satisfaction between the digital services provided by state bodies compared to the digital services provided by commercial entities. Israelis were particularly satisfied with the digital services provided by the HMOs (46% received the rating “excellent”), and the online banking services that received the same rating among 43% of the sampled. The lowest satisfaction was recorded in relation to the digital government services that received low scores – only 10% of the respondents rated the services of the Employment Bureau and the Tax Authority services as excellent, and only 17% rated the digital social security services as excellent.

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Social Security (Photo: Nati Shochat, Flash 90)

The study also shows that the gap in the use of online services between Hebrew society and Jewish society remains large and constant, despite the increase in Arab society’s use of the Internet during the Corona period. For example, only 62% of Arab society indicated that they make payments and shorten queues online, compared to 89% of the general public. The same is true of digital banking services, which were used by only 50% of Arab society before the Corona period and another nine percent joined during the Corona period – compared to 88% of the general public.

In addition, Arab society relies more on information from Google and social networks, the use of which has increased significantly in recent years. 51% of the population indicated that they use social networks at least once a day, compared to 36% who reported this in 2017. Only 11% of the general public do not use social networks at all (compared to 30% in 2017). In the Arab public, the numbers are even more significant – 73% of the Arab public use social networks several times a day.

As mentioned, the Arab society’s intense use of social networks is also reflected in their trust in the information published in them. During the Corona period, the most trusted source of information in Arab society (27%) were social networks and only after that (19%) relied on television, radio and printed newspapers. The ultra-Orthodox society relied mainly (20%) on sectoral news sites and the general public (20%) relied mainly on large news sites.

27% of Arab society stated that they do not trust government websites in Hebrew and 32% do not trust government websites in Arabic. This is compared to 59% who trust Google’s search results in both Hebrew and Arabic. The study shows that a similar change was recorded among ultra-Orthodox society, as 27% of respondents among Internet users in ultra-Orthodox society stated that they worked every day from the Internet at home during the Corona period compared to 22% of all Internet users and only 13% from Arab society.

Corona test (Photo: Jonathan Zindel, Flash 90)Corona test (Photo: Jonathan Zindel, Flash 90)

However, 63% of Internet users in the Jewish and Arab populations reported that they learned from home during this period compared to 43% of respondents from the ultra-Orthodox society. 45% of the Internet users indicate that the distance learning / working experience was a positive experience for them; In the Arab population the experience was less good.

Adv. Yoram HaCohen, CEO of the Israeli Internet Association: “The ongoing crisis due to the Corona epidemic illustrates most clearly the extent to which the Internet is a critical resource for the functioning of society and the economy.” According to him, in the Israeli Internet infrastructure managed by the union, an increase of about 30% in the registration of domain names (domains) in the IL area and an increase of about 100% in the volume of Internet traffic at the Israeli Internet Interchange IIX was observed at the same time.

“In the shadow of the Corona epidemic, the entire Israeli public has adopted digital patterns of use that are reflected in an increase in the extent and quality of use, while demonstrating a high level of adaptation and harnessing the critical resource of the Internet for learning, working and streamlining ongoing routines.” Common, such as ultra-Orthodox and Arab society. ” Hacohen added that decision-makers must nevertheless pay attention to the gaps in the quality of use and the availability of information between the Jewish and Arab populations, and immediately formulate mechanisms for creating substantial equality between the populations. ”

The study was conducted by Statant in July 2020 among 808 samples from Internet users who are a representative sample of all Internet users in Israel. A similar study was conducted by the Israeli Internet Association in 2017.

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